It’s normal for the major hotel chains to adjust which hotels belong in which categories each year. Typically only a small percentage of properties overall are changing categories. Furthermore, they’re not adjusting the number of points required for a redemption in a specific category of hotel, but rather they’re adjusting which hotels belong in which categories.
Well, the category changes are kicking in for bookings as of tomorrow (March 7, 2017). So if you want to lock in any stays at the old costs, you’ll want to do so today. As a reminder, here are the lists of hotels changing categories:
- You can find the 2017 Marriott Rewards category changes here (roughly 1,100 hotels will be changing categories, with 60% moving up in price and 40% moving down in price)
- You can find the 2017 Starwood Preferred Guest category changes here (325 hotels will be changing categories, with 63% moving down in price, and 37% moving up in price)
Some people will want to lock in some bookings today, while others will likely want to book tomorrow, after the categories of some hotels have dropped.
Based on my redemption patterns, I don’t view the Starwood changes as being especially negative. More properties I’ve redeemed points at are going down in price than up in price.
I’m heading to Bhutan soon, and the two Le Meridien properties there are dropping in category. They’re both Category 5, while they’ll drop to Category 4 as of tomorrow. Unfortunately it’s outside the cancelation deadline for me. Hopefully my experience is good, in which case more of you can maybe redeem points there, as it’s an exceptional deal compared to paid rates (though unfortunately Bhutan still isn’t a great value destination, given the crazy visa fees).
Anyone locking in any stays today before the changes kick in, or are they any properties you’re waiting until tomorrow to book?